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An introduction and overview of terms.

About OOIN

The Integrated Observatory Network (OOIN) is a national infrastructure that makes ocean data from many observing systems available to everyone, from scientists and researchers to teachers, students, and the interested public. You can access the data available in OOIN through a web interface. There you will find tools to help you locate, evaluate, and download ocean data. You will also find tools to keep you informed of changes to data you are interested in and tools that enable you to share your data with other OOIN  users.

As you explore OOIN, you may find it helpful to be familiar with a few basic concepts.

Resources in OOIN

Resource is a general term. Every OOIN object is a resource of one type or another. You will be working with four types of resources in OOIN. Each resource will have its own Facepage listed associated information and related links. Click here for further details about information listed on a Resource's Facepage.


The Facility is the overarching organizer in the OOIN system. All assets in OOIN will belong to a facility. An observatory will have lists of all of the assets it owns, such as platforms and instruments, whether they are deployed or not and all the sites at which they might be deployed. It will also list all of the data products those assets produce along with all the data processes available to transform those data. In addition, a facility will list all of the roles available for its users and the associated policies that define those roles and the use of the facility's assets.


Device is a general term for an asset that is deployable, commendable, and that gathers data. Both platforms and instruments are devices, but the term device is used only when there is not enough information in OOIN to determine whether the device is a platform or an instrument.


A platform is a deployable resource that houses both scientific instruments that gather science data and its own sensors that gather engineering data about the health and welfare of the platform. A platform can be deployed on another platform or at a site and may be commanded from within the OOIN interface or directly through a terminal emulator. A platform Facepage contains references to all the data products produced by the instruments it houses.


Instruments are the fundamental science data gathering tools. Like platforms they usually have both science sensors, gathering the research data and engineering sensors that gather data about the status and health of the instrument. An instrument may be deployed on a platform, but it is the platform on which it is deployed, not the instrument itself, that is deployed at a site. All of the data products based on an instruments data are listed on its Facepage.

Data Products

When a set of scientific data is registered in OOIN , it is called a Data Product. A Data Product consists of scientific data from one or more data sources, along with metadata that describe the source, the data, or both.

Data in OOIN may come directly from observing systems, such as instruments in or on the water, or may come by way of a laboratory or research facility where the data may be processed in some way.

On the Facepage for a resource, the data products produced will be listed. The user can click on any one of those Data Products to go to that Data Product Facepage to find its details or to download or subscribe to that Data Product. Click here for further details about Data Products.

Data Process Definition

A data process definition defines the inputs, the outputs, and the algorithm that converts the former to the latter. Inputs may be raw data, a data product, or the interim output of another data process. Likewise the outputs of the data process definition maybe defined as a data product or as output that feeds into another data process.

Geographic, Location, and Temporal Terms


A geographic grouping concept only, used currently only to help navigate in the map view of the dashboard.


An OOIN site is a contiguous geographic region. The site has an assigned name, such as the Coastal Endurance, with more refined areas as sub-sites, such as Oregon Inshore.


The location of a top level platform or node.

Instrument Portal

The location that an instrument is connected to on a platform or station. The instrument portal is fixed and associated with a specific instrument model but the specific instrument with an unique serial number will change based on the current deployment of resources. A given instrument portal over time will have different unique instruments collecting data.

Platform Portal

The location of a platform at station. The platform portal is fixed and associated with specific resource types but the specific resources with a unique identifier will change based on the current deployment of resources and over time.


Assignment of a physical device to a station for a period of time. A means of associating a resource to another resource.


The principal resource in a portal or site, in the event there a more than one at a given time. A means of flagging the device as the source for a particular data product.

Events in OOIN

Everything that happens in OOIN is marked by an event. There are many types of events such as a change event (e.g., a data product, lifecycle, or policy change event) or a command event, such as when an instrument has just received or executed a command. Click here to learn about specific types of events.


The way to stay up to date on a resource in OOIN is to subscribe to be notified when an event relative to that resource occurs. Click here to learn about subscribing to events.


Notification is the result of a subscription to the resource. When you subscribe you can request to be notified by email or SMS. Click here for how to edit account notification settings.

Additional Concepts and Terms


An interacting system software entity that autonomously manages a resource. Pages that include details on the interaction with agents are Command a Device and Parameters for Device Control.


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